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tv   Transportation Secretary Nominee Elaine Chao Testifies at Confirmation...  CSPAN  January 13, 2017 12:54pm-4:03pm EST

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lane child, pledged to work with the congress. they held her confirmation hearing yesterday and asked her about infrastructure investment, highway funding, air and rail safety. she safety. she was introduced by her husband who is senate majority leader mitch mcconnell as well as kentucky senator rand paul. the hearing ran three hours.
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[inaudible conversation]
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[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation]
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>> good morning everyone.. i want to welcome everyone tomm this commerce committee's first hearing hearing of the 115th congress, especially our new members. in addition to growing inside, the committee has the distinction of being the senate committee with the most women members ever at eight. [applause] i also want to thank all of our returning members, especially ranking member nelson for their hard work last congress. together together we were able to enact over 60 measures in the 114th congress. i am confident we will be equal equally successful. today we will consider the nomination of alain chao to be secretary of transportation.
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the department contains ten component agencies, employees over 57,000 full-time 7000 full-time employees and has an operating budget of $75 billion. according to the bureau of labor statistics they employ over 12,000 people nationwide and contributes $1.4 trillion to $4 trillion to the nation's economy, or 8.6% of the u.s. gross domestic product. my home state of south dakota, this translates into approximately 10,000 jobs. these numbers only begin to tell the story because so much of our economy is dependent upon a thriving transportation center. for example, without robust robust and efficient transportation, states like mina would be a unable to get their goods to market. increasing the capacity andet efficiency of our transportation is crucial and will have to beha at top priority for the next secretary of transportation. another high priority must beop
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safety. our nations pipelines and railroads must have safety. improvements can and must bef made.e the department must offer a range of tools to combat unique safety challenges like the sobriety program to pair that was safe driving. many of the changes made in the last congress have yet to be implemented and we will work together to ensure speedy implementation. will have the opportunity to collaborate on safetymel rev improvements when we revisit the federal aviation procedures this year. unique opportunity to show federal leadership and : unmanned
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aircraft systems to name a few have great promise to improve efficiency and spur economic growth. like all new technologies these must be properly integrated in a way that maximizes their benefits without compromising the performance of the current systems. secretary choop if confirmed, you will have a moment to us opportunity to transform americans' transportation network by promoting safety and innovation, growing our to my colleagues i would say that if you were to imagine an ideal candidate to tackle these challenges you would be hard to come up with a more qualified nominee and the one before us today. in addition to serving for eight years of u.s. secretary of labor, secretary chao serves as a deputy secretary of the department. she's not been tapped to lead. b her extensive experience t includes leading the united way of america, the peace corps and the federal maritime commission. secretary chao, yet consistently proven your willingness to rollr
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up your sleeves and address the challenges facing our nation and i would like to thank you for testifying today and for your willingness to continue record of service to the country. i will now turn to ranking member nelson for any reason judgment opening remarks and t then before secretary chao opening statement shall be introduced by her husband, senator mcconnell, our majority leader and the other member of the kentuckyenator delegation senator paul.d the chair recognizes senator nelson. >> thank you, mr. chairman.n. as we start out i want to take a minute to express a map of the committee our condolences to the friends and loved ones of the ce victims of friday's horrific shooting at fort lauderdale airport. and want to thank the heroic work that was undertaken by the first responders and the law enforcement personnel in responding. and although the investigation
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remains ongoing, i expect all of us in the congress will continue exploring ways to protect then traveling public in light of this tragic incident. and while we've made some progress in last years faa bill to double the number of the viper teams, the dog teams, and bolster the screening of airport workers, this tragic shooting serves as a reminder that our work to improve airport security remains a constant challenge. this years faa reauthorization bill that we will have to take up could be a good place to start if more needs to be done to prevent similar tragedies from occurring jerk so, mr. chairman, we are here today at a time when our nation is at a hee crossroads.
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many of our roads, bridges, tunnels and rails are aging, and desperately need to be repaired and replaced. years of neglect and increased demand have brought us to the point that we can no longer sit by idly and watch our countries most critical infrastructure continue to deteriorate. we must step up to this challenge, and that'sontinu particularly pertinent to thee hearing on the confirmation of pecretary chao.e. we must commit to build the next generation of great americanao infrastructure or risk harming our economy and global competitiveness, risk it by failing to do so. and that means investing in projects that will move people and goods for decades to come, such as ports.
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we have a lot in florida. they are responsible for moving lots of the goods in and out of our country.out of rails and highways that move the goods throughout our states, transit and rail projects they get americans to work, airports and passenger rail projects that connect our communities andnd technologies of tomorrow that will move people and goods more efficiently and more safely. these projects will also create good paying jobs, whether its as construction workers laying the foundation, an engineer doing the design or the steelworker making the parts. the benefits of updating and expanding our transportation infrastructure can produce thunderous ripple effects,
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creating new developments, generating increased investmen investments, and driving new economic opportunities. and that's what our country needs now, in the immediate future. it's takes a strong commitment, however, from the congress and the administration, and specifically the department of transportation. and it's going to take a significant amount of funding. and so, secretary chao, i hope we will hear more from you today on your administrations plan and how you intend to pay for it.owu and our nations transportation challenges include more than the deteriorating bridges and roads. safety, of course, continues to be a serious problem. in the last two years, it markeo a disturbing trend of rising fidelity's on our highways, and
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reversing a lot of progress that we've seen over the last half-century. so the department of transportation must aggressivelo use all of its authority and resources to bring those numbers down, whether it's cracking down on the drunk and distracted driving, increasing seatbelt use, or getting effective vehicles such as those with the exploding takata airbags fixed immediately. and as of the department must prepare for the future, as i speak, automakers are rapidly moving toward commercializing autonomous technology and self-driving cars.nomous t and the department is going to have to play a very critical role in ensuring that this is safe for the american public. th and then, of course, there's aviation safety.
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it's critical. it's an important task, and it will be before the committee in the faa reauthorization bill. now chairman thune and i have worked hard on a bipartisan and comprehensive faa h reauthorization bill last year, and as a result, 95-three in the senate. the reauthorization bill was stalled in the house, given a proposal to privatize air traffic control. besides the total opposition of united states department of defense, which has 20% of the air traffic, besides being costly and disruptive in implementation such as privatization, this scheme would upset the partnership between wd the faa and a lot of the agencies of the government.
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and last, certainly not least, i hope, madam secretary, that we will get a commitment from you that you will look out for the traveling public by ensuring that they have the basic consumer protections. this means working with us here in the congress to make sure that airline passengers know what they are paying for upfront and that those costs are fair. these provisions had broad bipartisan support in last years faa reauthorization, and we should get them across the finish line. and, madam secretary, just a personal note. you and my wife are the dearest of friends. she is one of your biggest fansr
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and i have watched you as you have imported yourself in a previous administration as a cabinet member, and it has been with the grace and with excellence that you have done so. and i certainly look forward to you in this new administration doing the same. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator nelson. it may be a first to have a senate later testified in front of this committee, but we are privileged to data senator mcconnell here to make a very special introduction, and so we would recognize, the chair recognizes the senate majority leader for statement. >> chat with them, senator nelson, of the committee. s obviously, it's a great pleasure to be here today. actually chairman thune, it's probably not the first time a majority leader has been before this committee. i am reminded of something bob dole said at the confirmation hearing for another transportation nominee, his wife, elizabeth.
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we all remember bob for having the best sense of humor ever of anyone who has served here.ob this is how he began. he said i feel a little like nathan hale. i regret that i have but one wife to give her my countries infrastructure. [laughter] that was bob dole for you. the nominee before us is extraordinarily well-qualified, incredibly capable, and she's got really great judgment. [laughter] on a whole variety of things. [laughter] i know senator paul will have much more to say about her qualifications when he speaks next, let me just say this. elaine is going to do a fantastic job as secretary of transportation. she's going to do good things for our country. she's going to make the commonwealth of kentucky proud,
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and she will be only the second cabinet secretary we've had from my state since world war ii. who was the other, you might ask? secretary of labor elaine chao. i sit at her last confirmation hearing that elaine would be one of the best sectors of labor we have ever had. i'm saying today that elaine will be one of the best secretaries of transportation as well. she has overcome some pretty big obstacles in her life, but everything she does she does well. prett i know she will performife b brilliantly again in this new s role. her family gathered here today couldn't be prouder, especially in lanes father. i feel exactly the same way he does. thank you for the opportunity to be here and let me turn to my colleague from kentucky. >> mr. chairman, it is my privileges might introduce a friend, a different and fellow
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kentuckian, secretary elaine chao for her nomination intond a service secretary of transportation. also like to welcome our family, dr. james chao his renowned in his own right. my wife kelly and i've come to know elaine will six years ago. we were both a grateful for her many kindnesses and friendship x as we transition to public service. we both admire elaina for herhi thoughtfulness, integrity, intellect and dedicated service to the country. a record of a conference met and leadership make her a truly exceptional candidate. prior to her nomination she had served this nation under the seesidential administrations. most notably along the survey secretary since world war ii under president george w. bush. as an immigrant to this country her successes on only a testament to the american dream but also the unbridled spirit of kentucky. having emigrated from taiwan at the age of eight with no background in the english language, secretary chao would
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copy all the words of her teachers on the blackboard so her parents could go over them daily when she arrived at home to improve her english skills. her father worked three jobs to support their six children, but they always expressed optimismsm for the future. the family was truly grateful to be in america. despite the challenges, they seize the opportunities this nation had to offer. secretary chao said parents believe in education, service and hard work, set the foundation for success which includes a degree from harvard business school and 36 honorary doctorate degrees of institutions around the world. education is never the end. it is just the beginning.ha secretary chao is extensive background in both public and private sectors include not onln our previous stint as secretary of labor but also deputy secretary of transportation, chairman of the federal maritim commission, deputy maritimeanspr administrator and deputyit
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administrator to use department of transportation, director of the peace corps. it's a long resume. we would all wish to have such a resume. she was also president of united way as well. i have no doubt she will do an excellent job and that her integrity will leader to great t heights as secretary of transportation. i look forward to working with secretary chao and officials at the department of transportation to address our infrastructure issues facing our country. i urge the committees favorable consideration of my friend elaine chao.y >> thank you, senator paul.nd, thank you, senator mcconnell. at this point will ask our nominee secretary elaine chao did please come forward and offer her opening statement.
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>> chairman thune, ranking member nelson, -- chairman thune, ranking member nelson, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i also want to thank my home state senators from the great commonwealth of kentucky for their kind introductions. i'm very honored to have the support of senator rand paul, and i will be working to lock in the majority leaders support tonight over dinner. [laughter]upport i am especially delighted to introduce my father, dr. james chao, along with my mother, jams ruth, is the foundation ofith everything that my sisters and i
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have been able to achieve. like so many others as you haves heard, my father left everything familiar behind to come to this country and build a better lifee for our family. my mother, two sisters and i endured three long years of separation before we were able to join him, traveling from asia to america via a cargo ship on an ocean journey that lasted 37 days. there were many challenges during those early days, living in an apartment in queens, new york, learning english and adapting to a completely foreign culture. but my parents love, optimism, faith and diligence kept us together. if i can ask my father to stand up, i would really appreciate m it. [applause] >> thank you so much. i'm also very pleased to
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introduce one of my sisters, may, and her twin daughters, miranda and jessica, from new york city. may is the daughter whose name symbolizes america. my mother was seven monthsthe pregnant with me when my father left for america, and he did not see his third daughter until she was three years old. and if i can ask you and the i rls to stand up. [applause] >> and my brother-in-law gordon is here. and that's it for the family. [laughter] my executive career in government began at the u.s. department of transportation during my career, i've had the extensive privilege of leading large, complex organizations in the public and the private sectors as deputy secretary of transportation, director of the peace corps, president and ceo of united way of america, and
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the u.s. secretary of labor. in each of these positions, my s goal has always been to help others access opportunities in mainstream america, and build better lives life for themselves and their families by supporting policies that foster job creation and workforce competitiveness. creat our country's transportation infrastructure is the underpinning of our world-class economy, one of the most productive, flexible and dynamic in the world. it is a key factor in productivity growth, which has s provided millions of hard-working americans with the standard of living that is the envy of the world. and it has provided us with unprecedented mobility, safety and security. and yet today these gains are jeopardized by agingyet, infrastructure, growing congestion, increased fatalities on our highways, and a failure
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to keep pace with emerginged technologies.s and a the u.s. department ofth transportation has a rare opportunity to shape the transportation of our critical infrastructure, and the chance to lead the department at this pivotal, historic time is a great honor.he first and foremost, safety will continue to be the primary objective. regulatory decisions should be rooted in analysis derived from sound science and data, with risk-based analysis that d prevents accidents before they occur. and considers both the cost and the benefits of new rule makings. railroads, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, pipeline operator, transit authorities and hazardouscr waste materials shippers should be deploying comprehensive approaches to
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safety. the department will also workep with states to ensure that billions of dollars of federal funding our focus on improving transportation systemlars performance and project delivery. our rail and air traffic operational efficiency, which is so important to america's competitiveness, need to be continuously improved. i look forward to working with its committee on faa's transition to 21st century air-traffic control technologies known as next june, eight months remain before faa reauthorization. so it's important to start theei collaborative process soon to provide air travelers with a system second to none. another major challenge is to unleash the potential for private investment in ours nations infrastructure.e as we work together to develop the details of the president elects infrastructure plan, it's important to know the significant difference between
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traditional program funding and other innovative financing tools such as public-privateer partnerships. in order to take full advantage of the estimated trillions in capital that equity firms, pension funds and endowments can at best, these partnerships must be allowed to participate with a bold new vision. and again we look forward too working with you to explore alld options integrate a mix of practical solutions, both publia and private, that provide the greatest cost benefit to the public. because we all know that the government doesn't have the resources to do it all. it's also important to recognize that the way we build and deliver projects, it's just as important as how much we invest. and we want to seek your advice
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and identifying and addressing unnecessary bottlenecks, and the processes that govern project development and delivery, as well as the manufacturing processes that we oversee. and finally we want to work with you to address the unique transportation needs in rural america, as well as the challenges that major metropolitan areas face.ic looking to the future we also have a unique opportunity to address the exciting new technologies transforming travel and commerce.xciting the private sector is driving this innovation. they are working with cities and states to demonstrate improvements in the safety and efficiency of autonomous vehicles. drones are poised to become a major commercial force, and the federal role in these sectors is still very much in its infancy.
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we want to work with congress to position the federal government as a catalyst for safe, efficient technologies, not as an implement -- not as an impediment. in summary, the department of transportation has a key role to play in modernizing our transportation systems. strengthening our nations competitiveness and improving our quality of life. and i look for to working with you to rebuild, refurbish and revitalize america's infrastructure so i economy canl continue to grow, create goodd paying jobs for america's working families, and enhance our quality of life. j thank you. and now i will be pleased to take your questions. >> thank you, secretary chao. t
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before we begin our questions i want to ask unanimous consent to put 20 letters of support for secretary chao into the record. they come from a diverse group of stakeholders ranging from first responders and transportation infrastructure groups to labor and shippers. without objection, so ordered. secretary chao, i think i counted at least half a dozen references to working withth congress, and more specifically to working with this committee in your testimony. i know you appreciate the importance of cooperation between the branches of ourou government. nevertheless these hearings give us an opportunity to underscore that point. so if confirmed what you pledge to work collaboratively withpo this committee and provide thorough, timely responses to our request for information as we work together to address transportation policy? >> i look forward to working with members of this committee and also the congress on allpo these issues of concern. >> planes trains and automobiles are particularly import into real estate like south dakota where long distance is often
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separate people who want to setup. the market the goods and even hospitals. secretary chao i appreciate your recognition and you challenge of achieving equity between urban and rural areas and your top priority for the department. as a senator from the state of south dakota, this balance is especially important to me into my my constituents.he the fast act struck a careful balance to ensure that we appropriately invested in both urban and rural infrastructure critical for connecting the country, supporting mobility options for all americans and moving agricultural, manufactured and the product to the market. to what extent do you see the funding allocations in the fast act of providing a framework for thinking about potential allocations under any infrastructure proposal put forward by the administration?ts >> i think the president-elect's vision for an infrastructure proposal is ambitious and futuristic and comprehensive. we will be starting a task force
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and the process to address these issues. the fast act was a tremendous to accomplishment by the last congress, and they are many, many financing options which should be considered, and we would hope that as we go intoio the future that we also be creative, innovative, and consider other options as well. because as mentioned the government does not have the resources to address all thehe infrastructure needs within our country. so all of us need to put our best thinking forward as to howi to fund the aging infrastructure. >> which is drive also to try te and strike the balance or achieve the balance when it comes to funding allocations between urban and rural areas that was accomplished in the fast act? >> absolutely. i have lived on east coast, the west coast.ve i now live in kentucky. i'm very, very familiar with the balance that needs to be kept
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between urban and rural areas spewed another area of importance for south dakota and for a lot of the members on this committee is the availability of reliable and affordable commercial air service, which has the ability to access to and from geographically isolated a areas of the country, two hubs in metropolitan areas. while it's a convenience for travelers, commercial aviation is something that often helps communities attract businesses, creating jobs and spurring economic development.s att various factors have altered the market and, unfortunately, in some cases threatened or limited access to commercial aviation for rural communities. if confirmed what we do to improve commercial aviation connectivity to rural d communities? >> rural communities are a central desha essential part of our country and the access to affordable and easy air service is an issue and something that we've talked about in many, many
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ways over the years so i look forward to working with the congress and continuing the esa program and find ways in which we can improve it as well. new technologies, imagine opening remarks like autonomous vehicles to the potential to improve our transportation system by signal lights, increasing mobility andanspor s improving fuel economy. the department has begun to build a framework for autonomous vehicles. as you know in your testimony, the federal is still in a very early stage of development. so i welcome your goal of making the federal government a catalyst rather than an impediment for technologies that improve safety and efficiency. if confirmed how will the department under your leadership imep pace with evolving advanced technologies and foster innovation? >> innovation and creativity is the hallmark of america. we are famous throughout the world because of the ingenuity and creativity that we have
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shown, and we lead the world in so many fronts because of new technologies that our country is been able to pioneer. we are now seeing the advent of autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, smart cars and also drones. while the benefits are very much a known, there are also concerns about how they will continue to develop, and i will work withab this committee and the congress to address many of these concerns. but we need to do so in a way that will not dampen the basic creativity and innovation of our country. >> thank you. senator nelson?ation >> mr. chairman, i want to welcome the four new members on the democratic side. they have certainly helped the ratio of male to female that you talked about. senator baldwin, duckworth, hassan, and cortez mastro. and i hope to announce very
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shortly the ranking members of the subcommittees very shortly. i'm just going to ask one question. i want to give the opportunity for our members to ask thisi plethora of subjects that this committee handles, and then i will do any cleanup at the end. the question of privatization of air traffic control. the opposition of dod, the fact that whereas the business roundtable supports the privatization. there is dissension within that organization.hin on the other side, the aerospace industries association opposes privatization.er do you want to offer any of your thoughts on this? off >> i would like to get confirmed the first. [laughter]
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obviously this is an issue of great importance, and this is al huge issue that needs to havece. national consensus, and for the national consensus to occur there needs to be a dialogue, a great discussion, a national discussion. the administration has not made a decision on this point, and i expect that come january 20, this will be one of the issues in which the white house will have some say as to where the position of the administration will be. i am open to all ideas. i'm very cognizant of those who are in favor of it. i'm also very cognizant of those who are concerned about the safety aspects of it. >> okay. >> i will work obviously with the congress and also with this committee on all those issues. >> in view of your answer, let me just say that we will
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collaborate extensively. >> yes. >> with you with regard to this. and it is so important that we get a full faa reauthorization, a multi-year. the chairman and i worked it out when we would get basically one year and get a number of g important things etched into law in that bill. but for the certainty of the airline industry and the future for the future of the next generation of air traffic control, et cetera, we need this multitier faa reauthorization bill, and there is a huge contention between the house and the senate over this issue of privatization. so we will be consulting with
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you and collaborating and communicating with you extensively on this. >> i look forward to it. >> senator wicker spirit madam secretary, i think most numbers of this committee are delighted that you been chosen for this position. i think you will be confirmed with a nice bipartisan vote, and i think we will be consulting and collaborating with you on a wide variety of we'll be consuld
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you express support for the essential air service and i would just use part of my time today to say i think the point there that i wouldó in endorsing your statement madam secretary is it is a bargain for the job creators and economic developers in the united states to have this assurance and so i appreciate hearing that from you. i'd like to touch briefly on three other things and those would be the federal contract power program, the merchant marine academy and the jones act. with regards to the federal contact tower program, this had been one of the faa's, one of the faa's most successful government
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industry partnership programs . and it is critical to air traffic control safety and 253 smaller airports including my home state of mississippi.what are your plans to ensure this program would enjoy strong bipartisan and bicameral support in congress continues to provide these important traffic control services for our traveling public? >> i would hope to work with the congress, obviously i've always done that in the past. this is a very important issue and i look forward to working with you on it. >> i look forward to a continuing conversation on that also. as you may know and i think we had this conversation when you came by early on for a visit which i appreciated, i'm a member of the board of visitors at the merchant marine academy. this has been one of the finest collegiate degrees a
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young american man could receive in the united states of america and we've had some bumps and hiccups along the way. on january 6, i was pleased to learn that secretary bach lifted the suspension of the seed year on commercial vessels for students for midshipmen at the merchant marine academy. i want to encourage you to continue efforts to ensure the integrity of this critical training program for our future merchant marine mariners. merchant marine academy is operating also under a warning with regard to accreditation. this is unimaginable to me based on where this academy has been historically in terms of academic achievement.
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the warning presents a serious risk and i hope you have plans and my question to you is will you make it a priority to ensure that the academy will stay on track to address the deficiencies prior to the deadline and will you agree with me that the alumni of this fine institution have a lot of knowledge and wisdom they can impart to us as government policymakers to us? >> senator, during my 32
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years you are very concerned about this issue and i've listened very carefully to what your concerns are, what you echoed once again here today. i have been to james! when i was deputy maritime administrator. i know that activity very well. this is a huge issue and i can assure you that if confirmed, this will be the first issue i take up at merit. >> thank you very much and briefly because my time is fleeting, a vitally important part of our american industry is the jones act which this committee has jurisdiction over. i hope you will be a strong supporter of the jones act and advocate for our domestic maritime sector as a bipartisan majority of this committee has always done. >> the jones act is the law of the land and it will be obeyed. unless congress changes its mind on that. >> thank you senator wicker. >> thank you mister chairman and congratulations on your nomination. i think we had a chance to discuss the state of washington and how rapidly it is growing. how fast it is being a gateway to our transportation
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system, one of the key cornerstones of our economic success that our state and local governments are making strategic investments in 2014, washington businesses lost 800 million dollars because of congestion and we have very challenged infrastructure issues and for the third consists second year, we are the fastest-growing airport in the united states, last year a passenger volume has increased by 32 percent, railroads are moving over 100 and 5 million tons of freight each year. transit is the fastest-growing light rail service in the country, the northwest seaport alliance, large cargo center and our gdp, grew by 30 percent in the nation as a whole which is 3.5 and washington
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employment group 3.5, the fastest in the nation, adding 105,000 jobs in 2016 we have growth . we have an economic engine but we desperately, desperately need the infrastructure investment. so i listen to your words very carefully as you phrase out ways in which to get that infrastructure, i'm all for creativity, i would say that our transportation, there's no more scroll dollars for infrastructure and so it is very important that we move forward so i have a couple of questions, answer yes, sir no, there are no questions, more trying to get a sense of what you will prioritize as far as funding so if you support the legislation that this committee passes that was implemented as the freight act and funding grant programs to move freight or cost-effectively through the
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united states and continuing to fund that program, >> in concept of course we want to make sure freight is moved efficiently. it will add to the productivity of our country and the economy. as to the second part of your question, i'm not sure because i've not been briefed on what the current situation is what if confirmed i will be glad to do that. >> when it comes to the faa, my colleague mentioned this would be a good support coming up with additional funding however it works out, you do supported in the new infrastructure investment in our airport. >> we need more resources to build, repair, refurbish infrastructure including those that relate to the aviation sector, yes? >> i mentioned down transit, one of thefastest-growing commuter systems in the country . there are projects already in the pipeline, for continuation of those projects and you mentioned
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creativity, one of the things they've been able to use is master credit agreements so they can get more affordable loan rates, are those kinds of support down transit? >> at this point, if i'm confirmed i need to take a look at thoseprojects , there are many projects on the board and there are different reasons why they are, some are faster, some are slower so i need to take a look at what's happened withthose projects . >> i'd like a follow-up if i could and to see if we can get any answers to that end when you and i visited, i mentioned this to the volume of crew by rail going through the state of washington , it's an extraordinary growth rates of trains that have every city and might be concerned about the volatility of this project, the department of energy and dot are working on an analysis of the volatility of that project, do you support that research? >> you and i have talked about this at length.
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the prospect of having the products go through urban areas is of great concern, if confirmed i have an opportunity to be briefed on all of these, it would be premature of me to say anything at this point . >>. >> can i have a word with you on this? >> i came here very interested in your nomination and their enthusiastic about the prospects of former casting member moving over to focus on something that i've been very if you will administrations sometimes choosing someone of the opposite party as a bipartisan nature of transportation and i would hope you could look at some of these and give me a more specific answer. i'm not trying to box you in as much as debate for my state right now is are we going to fund infrastructure? we need to know you are going to step up and say yes to that creatively with us tofind
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those solutions. >> the way you have just raised the question, absolutely , yes. >> but the specifics , >> i find confirmed i do need to take a look. >> i'm going to give you a few more in writing, thank you so much. >> center blessed. >> thank you chairman, secretary chasse, is wonderful to have you here. i don't know that any other committee will have somebody who goes through this process this year was already been confirmed four times. bar without a dissenting vote on the senate floor, you have been the process of setting a record that will be hard to for anybody else to me in the future, we had a chance to work together when you were at the department of labor and the secretary of labor, i thought you did a tremendous job there but one of the things i like best about your is there was on compliance even more than on, i wonder if you talk a little bit about that area of trying to get people into compliance as
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a principal focus rather than the heavy hand of enforcement as your first place to go. >> a lot of times, the rules and regulations will be very confusing and so the government, whether it be at the federal state or local levels, i believe that the responsibility to engage in outreach, the health of regulated communities, understand what is required of them. this benefit not only those for those who would be protected which is the sole criteria of course but also until it takes culture for example of safety that benefits those who are being protected because workers alone cannot protect themselves. they need the rules and regulations and laws.
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they need the cooperation of the government. they also need the cooperation of theiremployers , working together by making it very clear what the obligation of the employer is and how best to understand the federal, local, state and local relations to make it transparent and easily understandable, that's the best way to protect workers and that is the compliance that we followed. >> i think another area that comes into that immediately through all of our appropriate discussions on infrastructure and in kentucky and missouri, is really transportation is our greatest advantage. the rivers come together, the highways come together, the rail systems come together and obviously not as dependent on geography but air as well. i think it's important that we now be thinking of
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intermodal he how all of those things work and i believe 10 years from now we will look back at this moment where world food demand is going to double in three or four decades and economic opportunities in either think it was a good thing we got started right now, looking at that intermodal opportunity or why didn't we do that and i'm wondering what your thoughts are as to the inland port structure, the rail structure, the highway structure, all those things along with air come together. >> intermodal is a process that's been discussed in the 1970s and as we progress and we've improved many aspects, not nearly enough. we still have sectors of the economy, different modes of transportation feeling each other as competitors whereas all of them should be put together in an integrated
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system and so as we consider the infrastructure of the future, we need to focus more on how different modes of transportation can be a seamless partner, deliverer of services to provide a more efficient and productive transportation system for the benefit of the consumer and overall quality of life for our country. >> i think the competitive model where we are all trying to figure out how we can compete as a country by making this all work or effectively is a much more realistic model than people worried about the rails, how do you use this whole system in a way that makes us as competitive as we need to be. and can be and one last thought on streamlining which you mentioned, in both the last highway build in the railroad bill, we've created some opportunities where you
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are working in existing space for a more fast tracked process that lets you go ahead and improve that rail spur, that rail line, that bridge that's already standing there. a few minutes on your thoughts on streamlining that regulatory process to get things done. >> if i'm confirmed i think one of the major things that i will be looking at is the issue that you discussed and also the intermodal compatibility and interaction that can occur. we are seeing more cooperation between the different modes of transportation but again, more needs to be done. it is a lack of federal resources overall resources to improve our infrastructure all that is connected to something you've raised and again, it's confirmed that that would be an issue we would be having with this committee and the congress on
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how to improve the situation. >> thank you secretary. >> thank you senator blunt, >> thank you mister chairman and congratulations on your nomination and i'm excited to work with you going forward. i'm not going to oppose an exact question about infrastructure to say how important it is in our state, we are the state has a 30 5w bridge collapse in the middle of that summer day we rebuilt with some good bipartisan work in a year, that was my first few years in the senate, i'll never forget that and i've been devoted to this issue of infrastructure ever sense. i joined with senator warner and blunt on their proposal for financing authority, i know senator cantwell has reported there's a lot of issues out there and i'm heartened by the fact that this is the number one issue on election night. i'm also hoping that we can come together on something
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that makes sense to our infrastructure and our country which would include broadband and the number of the members here are members of our broadband caucus and one of the cochairs and you and i discussed that but i thought i would take questions, first some of your questions, both democratic and republican administrationshave pursued an expanded open sky agreement , that's to provide us consumers, carriers and airports with more choice, access to new destinations. i'm concerned that recent action by some companies like norwegian air international and some countries like the uae and cutter are undermining our open skies concerning american workers because of their financing. could you work with me on this to make sure our air american airline workers art harmed by unfair competition, competition is great but not when it's on an uneven
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playing field. >> thank you for offering that, i look forward to working with you on this issue. >> thank you very much. the first item on the ntsb's list of most wanted safety improvements for 2016 was reducing fatigue related crashes. we have all seen a number of horrific crashes in the last few years flight 3407. we have worked really hard on this issue for passenger flights, senator boxer is no longer with our committee and i worked on captain sully sullenberger from the miracle on the hudson involving cargo flights and having some rules in place that make sure their pilots are flying safe. secretary chair, my commitment to increasing
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aviation safety, working on this cargo issue and continuing to have this as a priority. >> i look forward to working with you on all these issues if i'm confirmed. >> you and i also talked about the general aviation, the code of serous in duluth and making a small gesture in expanding industry with a lot of exports nationally and senator mccluskey and i passed the bill, we finally passed rules on speeding up the process so there are safety additions and i'm hoping you will continue to help us in this important manufacturing industry to america. >> confirmed i look forward to working with you on this. >> now we go to somerville. the recreational trail program, it's extremely important. it funds our highway vehicles , nonmotorized trail usage and issues where we've actually had a process in the bicyclists working with motorized vehicles. it derives its funding from gas taxes on highway vehicle users when they fill up their
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machines and i hope that you would work with us going forward on that issue as well . maybe it's not the first thing you thought of when you got up this morning but it's been a very positive program for recreational use and i look forward to working with you on it. last is the stop on rail safety, we've got a lot of issues in our state and you and i talked about the fact that this spot where the oil is coming in from north dakota and we are glad that we had some production in our country but that funds in biofuels, we've had a number of ailments so just your thoughts on that? >> safety is number one. there's no question about that. so safety will continue to be the number one irony in response to the department of transportation. confirmed i will look forward to working with you, i would talk about this more in our
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courtesy visits and with all members of the committee and the congress on this important priority. >> thank you and i will put some questions on the record on distracted driving, i've been meeting these efforts and we had some success, it's a very hard issue but overall nationally, seven percent increase in traffic fatalities from 2014 to 2015, secretary lahood actually improved you know what his top priorities when he was the head and i hope that we could reinvigorate those efforts and make them a top priority.>> thank you senator: char, senator fisher. >> thank you mister chairman. welcome madame secretary, it is a pleasure to see you today and i want to add my congratulations on your nomination. i appreciated you coming in for a private meeting that we had at our office and i thought the coverage on a variety of issues and i wanted to touch base on those
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with you today. on everybody's mind is highway trust funds. when you hear the president-elect speak about infrastructure between money and the infrastructure, part of that i would assume would go to the highway trust fund. we are looking at a shortfall of $107 billion over the next five years following the expiration of the fast act and what are your thoughts addressing the long-term philosophy of the federal highway trust fund. >> the trust fund is in bad shape. because of the declining miles, because of the increased miles per gallon, the cars normally get the gas tax which is 90 percent of the funding of the highway trust fund. it's not as lucrative as it used to be. and the fund annually, spends
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$47 billion, takes in 37, that's $10 billion deficit per year, you can't make that up on volume. so it's an issue. and we pay for it for any infrastructure proposal are all challenging and all have their particular champion and also detractors so once again, confirmed i look forward to working with this committee and also the congress on this number one priority among the top priorities of this. >> we will go bankrupt by 2021 if we don't do something. >> this is an issue i worked on in my state and a senator, we were successful in thinking outside the box through policy issues and in a couple weeks we will be putting forward a proposal here to start a conversation
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on how we're going to fund our highways. another thing that we worked on in this committee, secretary kelly is addressing a reduced growing number of unnecessary regulations that we face and during the last congress, the subcommittee on recitation that i chaired held nearly 20 hearings and events on how best we can keep goods moving across the country and do so safely. so i was pleased to be able to have language in the fast to reform the federal motor carrier safety ministration regulatory process by making it more transparent and responsive and open to input from our stakeholders. i would ask you what do you think is the best way that we can keep passengers and freight moving across our system and how do you plan to approach looking at regulations that many
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consider to be a burden on how we are moving goods and people across this country. >> you and i had a long conversation which i'm very grateful that you granted. many of the transportation issues in your state and it was very clear from your career in the past part of the state legislature that you are quite an expert on all these transportation issues itself. so it was a real benefit for me to learn from you and hear your points and also see your passion for protecting interests of your state. what was the question? i'm so sorry. >> regulations. >> on the regulation i think it's a great challenge for all regulators is the balance . , the ultimate goal obviously of safety but also to make sure that the regulations that are enacted are based on
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sound science, on true data and that the underlying analysis, that is the best way to protect the consumer and passengers. >> i agree with you on that. another point you are looking for shortages with regard to commercial truck drivers, airline pilots and that has a direct impact not just on our transportation system but on our country as a whole. when we are not able to people and not able to and see products and see commerce grow so i look forward to working with you on that as well. my time is up but i thank you for being open to all the issues that your portfolio is going to encompass when you take over the department of the new secretary. >> thank you senator fisher. senator moran. >> thank you very much.
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welcome to the committee. ron joins me in offering our congratulations to you on this nomination and while i am always an admirer of your abilities, i'm most admiring this morning, they are well behaved, apparently you are seemingly attentive to what's being said here and it's perhaps the only people in the audience that seem to be interested in what members of the committee and the senators are saying so i appreciate the suggestion that what you are saying is of interest to them and i would commend your sister and husband for raising apparently a good daughter so congratulations to the family as well. senator nelson raised the topic of privatization of air traffic control. one of the justifications that's been used and i'm very concerned with that privatization so i joined senator nelson in that regard. but one of the justifications
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of the proponents of that privatization has utilized is the failure of the faa to in a timely manner implement nexgen. reading the latest technology to the state, to our air traffic control system and the knock is that by the time the department of transportation completes the work on next gen, it's technologies will already be outdated so my question is maybe you can help us eliminate one of the reasons that people advocate for privatization by telling us how we could have faster, quicker, more efficient implementation of technology to improve our air traffic control system that the state provides. >> when i was deputy secretary, and president george w bush's administration, the modernization of air traffic control was a huge issue then.
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a lot has changed, a lot has been done but more needs to be done. obviously as times change, and the lag in the ability of the organization to keep up with modernization that is required, this is a huge issue. i'm very much aware of those who are for it, those who are against privatization. i know that you with your state of many general aviation interests have not been a proponent. we need to have a national discussion about this so i look forward to working with the congress, especially with the faa reauthorization bill coming up on september 30 of this year on addressing many of these very important aviation issues if i'm confirmed. >> i appreciate that and certainly i'm interested in working on the privatization issue. i would reiterate my belief in one of the ways that we can manage the demand for a different air traffic control system is to get the
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technology in place necessary for the latest updated advanced air traffic control systems even under its current government structure. you are right, wichita kansas is the air capital of the world. we manufacture more general aviation aircraft than anyplace else in the country and that would give me the opportunity to highlight the important of something that's developing today and that equals the certification process, the method by which we get new aircraft, new craft to market and getting that done in a timely fashion and enables wichita kansas and our manufacturers but the aerospace and aviation industry in our country to compete in a global market. reforms that encourage the full use of organization designation authority, oda's is important to us, meaning
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that it is moving in a direction of self certification. the faa has been helpful in recent times in accomplishing that and i would bring that issue to your attention. the faa and industry are moving toward the risk based safety oversight approach and i would encourage you to encourage the faa to continue that process that we can get the latest technologies in our manufacturing sector utilized, new products in the market and better able to compete in a global economy, any reaction? >> i would certainly hope to do that, thank you. >> i appreciate that. >> i would only mention it because as was indicated earlier by one of my colleagues, the clock and turned to read and my time is fleeting. and i would be interested in this with you because the subcommittee that i shared in the past dealing with the vehicle to vehicle technology
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and we have jurisdiction over this and we look forward to working with you and hearing your views on how we can implement safety in the latest technology, there seems to be here my conversation which is technology provides us the greatest advantages and we want to work with you to see that it is readily available to you. >> i look forward to working with you if you are confirmed. >> senator brandon, following up on that point, i think the reason there's been such a discussion about faa and reform is because the promised benefits of next gen have not been realized. and there is plenty of documentation to that effect and you've indicated an open mind about how to proceed, i have an open mind to but it's going to require we work together and certainly it's importantthat travelers, taxpayers, people and
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aviation stakeholder community realize the benefits of this and make sure they are getting a good return . >> mister chairman, let me chime in on that issue. what we are doing with the next gen is we are basically going to have air traffic control off the satellites instead of radars. and as a result, you can vector an aircraft much more efficiently to its designated airport. at the same time, aircraft will be aware of each other so that you've got real time awareness in air traffic control in the cockpit. the technology is there. we just need to implement it. and those contracts are being vigorously formed in the faa, i just wanted to add that. >> senator blumenthal.
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>> thank you very much mister chairman, welcome. welcome now and thank you for your past service and i look forward to working with you and i might just say although senator mcconnell has left, he and i have something in common which is we are both married above ourselves. and my wife cynthia is a friend and admirer of yours and welcome to our committee. i look forward to working with you on issues that concern investments in infrastructure. you and i have talked a little bit about the need to modernize and upgrade our future rails, roads and bridges and see this issue particularly in connecticut on our roads and bridges but also the safety and reliability and speed of our rail system with needs being
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significantly improved and that's a real investments, a public resource. and you and i have talked about the need for a public-private partnership. i hope we can work together to make that happen and build a bipartisan consensus to favorite as i think it's very possible. i also think that safety in our other kinds of transportation are very important. as you well know, a lot of the recommendations made by the agencies that will be under your jurisdiction very simply have not been implemented according to the latest numbers from the national safety board. there are hundreds of open safety recommendations, 305 at the adderall aviation administration, 61 at the federal railway administration, 91 if saw,
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these recommendations are essentially life-saving for people who are affected by them and the agencies have failed to fulfill recommendations and so my first question to you is what can, what are your plans to propose these recommendations to make sure they are followed? >> safety is a top priority of the department, my first task will be to get briefed on all these outstanding issues and i look forward to working with you and your committee on all of this. >> there's a tendency sometimes to be dismissive. about these kind of recommendations, i hope that you will make them a priority. >> if it confirmed i will look at them very seriously. >> and make sure they are being implemented because i know you are a doer and these
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recommendations need doing. let me turn to one of the areas where technology is important to mention, technology in your open statement. not a new technology, it's been around for many years, the deadline for employment was 2015 which then was extended to 2018. over all opposition from a number of us, like myself. and you and i have talked a little bit about it. would you plan to make sure that that deadline is fulfilled and that in fact positive train control which is like this technology is implemented by 2018? >> it confirmed i hope to get briefed on this. if there's a deadline, as you mentioned i would help to facilitate and i would look at it very seriously and
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again i want to get an up-to-date briefing onwhat's going on and i did promise you i would do that. >> you have promised . >> and i hope you the promise again is not just to be brief but to take action caused me seen in the northeast consequences of the failure to implement it and a number of the rails task force that have spiraled in pennsylvania and others where these disasters could have been stopped. with positive train control, one last question. relating to the plan recently issued by federal railway administration , in fact, reroute some of the rails going through connecticut in bypasses through areas like old line where they would have disastrous effects on the environment and historic landmarks, quality of life.
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i would ask your commitment that you will review this plan and changes in response to the overwhelming outcry that the recently implemented frs is unworkable as is also a point of order, >> i've spoken about this before during our current visit and i will certainly review this very carefully. if confirmed. >> thank you. >> thank you senator blumenthal, senator salt. >> thank you mister chairman, thank you secretary childs and thank you to your family for their commitment to public service and their commitment to you this morning was historic at least for me, the first time i saw a leader mcconnell on anyone. >> i'm glad it was me. >> so secretary childs, we
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have a serious safety crisis on our roads, more than 35,000 people died in crashes in 2015 as senator mentioned, that seven percent increase over the previous year and is the largest increase in 50 years, the early estimates show that number will pass 40,000 in 2016 and these are not just car on car accidents, they are also doing those that walk along the roads, 2015, 10 percent of all roadway deaths were possessed in. seniors were 50 percent more likely that other pedestrians to be struck and killed by a car and this problem is particularly bad in the state of hawaii where we had the unfortunate distinction of having the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities among our elderly in the country. these deaths are preventable, preventable through the implementation of best practices, senator heller and i have worked on the implementation of safe streets and we worked with
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the current secretary of transportation to try to get metropolitan plants organizations to partner with transportation services and state departments of transportation to implement safe streets area that we have your commitment to work on pedestrian safety and the implementation of a state agenda? >> we talked about this as well, i look forward to working with you on that. confirmed. >> secretary, following up on senator workman's question regarding the jones act, is a bipartisan consensus that the foundation of the domestic us maritime industry and that is also essential to our national security. vessel, american merchant marines and our work fighters, transporting medical supplies, food and other cargo to troops in combat. the military's confidence in the fleet of us ships move cargo to troops deployed in places like iraq, afghanistan, they allow the
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navy to save limited cargo space for weapons, fuel and other essential goods and that'swhy every secretary of defense , every secretary of the navy for generations has supported the jones act and with the usual caveat but understanding that you have a unique role in the administrator as a former deputy area of transportation and former secretary of labor and your private sector experience in shipping contacts, can you talk about the importance of the jones act from both a national security standpoint and from an economic security standpoint? >> the jones act is very important. it's a very important program we have seen the two wars now in the last 25 years. i of an age where i have seen two wars in pivotal areas of the world. if we do not have the merchant marine assets, it
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will assist gray hall on the campaigns and military naval campaigns our country would not have been able to supply our troops, bring the necessary equipment, all that is notdone on the great hall bottoms but rather the merchant marine bottoms. this is an area i'm very familiar with . i have great interest in as well and the national security of the merchant marine fleet of this country is part of the way that we are able to be effective overseas and protect this country so i am of a great proponent of the us department of merchant marines. >> thank you very much and my final question is just
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following up on our conversation during our courtesy visit, hawaii is the most isolated populated place on the planet and so our unique geography and topography, the fact that we are an island state means our maritime needs, our deviation , our broadband infrastructure needs, our service transportation needs are different and not dissimilar to senator sullivan, unique situation , representing the state of alaska, we would just ask for your continued understanding both as we are crafting statutes but also as you make room and also as you interpret interpret rules and statutes and even procedures to understand that many places are different and that is only true in hawaii and alaska. >> we talked about this and i appreciate you sharing the concerns of your state. >> thank you very much. >> i look forward to working with you. >> thank you senator shot. >> thank you mister chairman
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and madame secretary. congratulations, i certainly agree with the chairman that you are an ideal candidate for this position. my wife julie sentence her congratulations as well. i want to begin by thanking you for your exceptional service to our nation. we looked at your background and it's just remarkable what you've done for this country. and i also just want to mention that you and your family including your nieces are a great example for all of us who are watching to hear the story of your families, it's very powerful. i appreciate your focus on modernizing the transportation but i really want to emphasize that it's going to be very difficult to do that without modernizing the federal permitting system. and you and i have had the opportunity to challenge these but just last year in a
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hearing in this committee we had the head of the seattle airport, seatac airport and he talked about the four years to build the new runway , 15 years. 15 years to get the federal permits to start building. >> there are stories all across the country that i know you are familiar with and we've had many nightmare scenarios for 20 years almost of a permanent goldmine in my state and our country used to be the envy of the world in terms of holding infrastructure projects, responsibly, on time, the 1500 mile alaska canada highway was built in under a year. now in america it takes on average 16 years to get a permit for a bridge. so if we are looking at infrastructure, the major infrastructure initiative which i support, if we are not also undertaking major
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federal permitting, i think we are not going to be successful in our infrastructure. do you see this as a major problem and will you work with us both from your regulatory authority and legislation that we would undertake here and on the edw committee to try to address it. >> yes i would. senator you wrote a good article in the wall street journal about this issue and what we hear from many investors and outside interests and various stakeholders is the duplicative and bureaucratic permitting that sometimes may occur. we want to make sure that the regulatory process works, but that also means getting rid of some of the redundancies and some of the unnecessary burdens so you've certainly been a leader on that and i look forward to working with you. >> we look forward to working with you as well.
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i would note both the dpw committee, former chairman inhofe was committed to that. in that wall street journal op-ed you mentioned, i appreciate you commenting on that but we are working on a major permitting reform bill called the rebuild america now act and we look forward to working with you and the rest of the trunk administration on those kind of permitting reforms. one area i wanted to mention, we have all these opportunities for energy in this country, where once again the world energy superpower and yet the obama administration is clearly politicized and delayed the permitting of pipelines, the keystone xl pipeline took eight years until the president told the plug on that and the irony is that the pipelines are much more safe been delivering by rail so can we get your commitment to help us streamline the permitting of pipelines, is
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it deep a side or it's become a very politicized permitting process with the current administration on that important area of permitting? >> i look forward to working with you on this issue as was discussed if i get confirmed. >> finally i will turn a little bit too senator shot mentioned about some of the rural areas. we are resort rich infrastructure for our state, at almost 600,000 miles of land, alaska is more than 200,000 times the size of texas. if you split alaska into, texas would be the third largest state in the country. but we only have 10,400 miles of paved roads compared to texas which has 313,000. another comparison, alaska has 118 times the size of
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connecticut but we have less than half the roads that connecticut has. so if confirmed, will you commit to come to alaska with me to meet with my constituents to help us address the unique challenges and opportunities with regard to infrastructure, roads, bridges, pipelines in alaska that are not only important to my constituents but important to the nation? >> i would be delighted to andy you mentioned how important your office is in terms of convening important stakeholders to address these issues and i will be more than glad to help to participate as well. >> thank you again for your great service to our country. >> thank you senator sullivan and the chairman of the ocean subcommittee. we are all form more rules in
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alaska. next up is senator peters, followed by senator inhofe. >> secretary child, it's great to have you here and i will concur with my colleagues that it's a privilege to have you testifying before us today and i also appreciate your story and your family's story. it's a true american story and it shows the power of immigration and how immigration has brought many wonderful people to our shores to pursue their version of the american dream so thank you for being the embodiment of that. >> i wanted to thank you for the time in which you spent with me in my office talking about a variety of issues and i think it was really clear at the end of the meeting, you know i'm focused primarily on automobiles, being from michigan and some of the incredible things happening when it comes to autonomous vehicles or as i refer to them as self driving vehicles, autonomous sound sinister, it sounds like you
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get in the car and it tells you where to go, it's going to drive for you and we will have incredible benefits when it comes to safety, we heard from senator schatz and others, i was at the detroit auto show before coming here, the whole focus of that is mobility. we think we can eliminate nearly all auto crashes, 80 percent of auto crashes could be eliminated saving tens of thousands of lives. this is transformational technology on par with the first car to come off the assembly line, it's that day but as we talked about, it is also an area where there is intense competition and who gets there first with this technology from an international perspective will have a significant competitive advantage. the asians are moving on this very aggressively and the europeans are moving very aggressively. we also know our american auto companies are doing a phenomenal job. ford motor company's announced they would have a production of vehicles by 2021, a mass production vehicle on a self driving vehicle available, that's
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roughly 5 years so we may see that accelerated. i want to touch on a couple issues. speed is critical. we have top competition so we need to move this forward. one aspect we talked about is facilities to test these technologies. we are in a competition right now for the number of sites around the country, there may be multiple ones accepted as early as next week to do this testing. i would hope you would be fully engaged after those facilities are selected to work on collaborative ways we can work with the federal government to help industry fully use those facilities and if i could get your thoughts on that. >> i certainly want to do that. >> i appreciate that and the other aspect is federal policy. these technologies are going at an exponential rate, federal policy instrument much slower than that. do you have some specific ideas as to how we see that process up but understanding as you said over and over again, 80 is paramount, the public already would be a little bit concerned about safety self driving vehicles so any kind of accidents that
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occur would be, would have a tremendous public blowback. the industry doesn't want it, we can't do that but at the same token we need to be able to allow innovation to go and test vehicles not just untaxed tracks but getting them out in the road. any odds on that how you would be open to see on that? >> i open to working with you, you're obviously a tremendous proponent for your state and for the manufacturers in your state. i thought it was interesting with senator heller here as well that you talked about testing grounds and how sometimes snow and cold weather actually advantage in testing grounds but what we're seeing is obviously technology outstripping the consumer's ability to accept and understand some of the technology so i think it precludes all of us that the country as a society to bring greater familiarity and greater comfort to those who are passengers and other stakeholders will be
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eventually users of this technology to understand the benefits, the limitations and also what it means going forward in the future so it requires a national discussion and i look forward to doing that with you i look forward to that as well, one final question on this important issue for me, back in 2005, following hurricane katrina, president bush and the department of labor which is under your leadership at that time suspended the vacant provision on federal contracts in the gulf coast. this action was very concerning to me, as i know many others because even a temporary suspension of this vacancy will drastically reduce wages to american workers who are tasked to rebuild their community and i know president-elect trump has stated his administration will follow a mantra by america, hire america and we
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hope part of that mantra also means there are fair wages to those americans who are doing that work. can you commit now to us the application of vacancies for all department of transportation contracts issued under your leadership? >> the davis statement is currently the law and the less congress change that fact, it is the law. >> but the suspension we saw in the past? >> the suspension is very extraordinary. it was extraordinary circumstances in which we needed to get rebuilding at a very fast rate to enable obviously these communities to come back to life. >> >> so you support the basic foundation of the davis bacen as well and that's something you'll continue to support as secretary? >> as i mentioned davis bacen is the law and will be the law unless the congress changes it. >> right. thank you. i appreciate that. >> thank you, senator peters.
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senator inhofe then senator baldw baldwin. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i say to you eand the ranking member that i'm just delighted to be on this committee and i'm looking forward to i keep thinking, last night i was with you and your family, your daddy, how popular, how excited your daddy is right now. thinking about the things that's going on, that he is responsible for you and performing in your cute little nieces i guess they are. >> miranda and jessica spirit they are great. anyway -- [laughter] i have 20 kids and grandkids so you have some homework to do but that's all right. let me share a couple things with you that perhaps even you didn't know, i think you probably did know this. i think a lot of members of this committee did not know this, that i've been on a committee
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that is like this environment -- a lot of jurisdiction here also in transportation for 21 years. prior to that eight years on that kenai committed in the house of representatives.. i've been around this thing for a long time. our biggest probably use me when i was in the house we had too much surplus in the highway in trust fund. >> not anymore. >> and you outlined in your opening statement why that changed. but that was actually affect. i remember when bill clinton was first president of the united states, he was looking for somee money to rob some of their accounts and he took $16 billion out of the highway trust fund. so those days are behind us and we can't go back to them. but nonetheless it's kind of fun to review the history. let me share something else and i'm going to ask unanimous consent that to article be made a part of the record thisles morning.
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that's a you see, mr. chairman. >> without objection. >> these articles are articles that are very complementary to you when you had your previous secretary position of labor. they talk about how you got on the job, i wouldn't bring this up except it's in writing, unfortunately the first day you got everybody in there and said this is what, these are theirst problems, it'll be our solutions. we'll stay on top of them and, you never slowed down from the very beginning. >> thank you so much.ng >> and i would hope and would ask that you do the same thing in this job. and if you happen to know because they contacted us that in the audience we have people who were strong supporters of you and work for you during those years.u they are all gone and doing grand things now, that they still have that allegiance and a love for you. in fact i have to say this. in the years that i've been here, 30 years, i've never seen anyone coming to, to get the
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nomination for position, that people loved more than you. there's got to be a reason for that.an all right, let me, a couple of specific things i do want to did in. and one is within talking about about the big issue, the privatization in all this. the i think i might be the own active commercial pilot on this committee, and so i deal with this. on controllers i know that there's other options out there that has been pointed out by the ranking member. but they've done a great job, and we need to make sure that we do this thing right. tha i see as a problem, just ann observation to me, myi communications normally with the general aviation community, because i've been involved in it for so many years, but it seems to me that there's not a lot of communication going back and lot
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forth. i would just suggest judging from their past performance that one of the first things you might do is get them all in one room and talk about it. it's surprising how sheltered people are in their own opinions. just a thought. what do you think about that? >> thank you very much for making the suggestion, and,ut obviously, if confirmed the convening power of the secretary of transportation is immense, and i certainly, that could be put to good use in convening these various stakeholders to talk about an important issue like this.s >> one of the things that has not been mentioned so far is the use of drones, and how significant that is. started out in my experience with them in the military, the house armed services committee, and then the senate armed services committee. of course with some provisions put in the faa bill to facilitate the use of drones, areas like pipelines and other
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areas. i know this is going to be one that is going to be of interest to you. one of the inhibiting factors if drones is that all the overregulation that are there. do you, number one, agree, and you to attack these regulations pretty quick in your service? >> the drone started out as you mention with the department of defense. it's an emerging technology. there are those who see the benefits of commercializing them for various uses. it's transforming the way we work, the way we do commerce. there are also others who are very concerned about privacy issues, security issues. and again for going forward with emerging technology as important as this with such vast implications for our future, i think we need to talk about it. we need to have again and national consensus on where we are going. a
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state-by-state patchwork is a concern of what does that mean for federal regulation. i look forward to working with the committee and also with the congress on the issue spend my time is expired, before the record if you would address something that hasn't been addressed, and that is the energy infrastructure whichwo hasn't really been given the attention it should.n' a breath she can me your ideas. give us your ideas for the record spirit i would be glad to do so. >> thank you, centered and off,w and welcome to the committee. senator baldwin is next followed by, if nobody else shows up, senator capito. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to thank the chairman and ranking member for a warm welcome to the committee. i'm delighted, secretary chao, that my first commerce committee meeting in your confirmation hearing. welcome and thank you again for our visit last week.ation it was helpful to start the conversation and actually want
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to start by asking you to speak a little bit more on a topic that we discussed when we visited, which is the buy american rule. simply put, i firmly believe that american workers should build our infrastructure with american products. and that taxpayers money should not be spent on chinese or russian steel and iron. so here in the senate i've spent some time working on including buy american provision in our incently passed waterr infrastructure bill that was signed into law just a few weeks ago. and despite broad bipartisan support in the senate, speaker ryan and congressional republicans pulled my buy american provision from the water infrastructure bill as we
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discussed. now, their position against by america is at stark odds with the president-elect who has repeated his pledge that will bo two rules for rebuilding america's infrastructure, quote, by american and higher american. so if confirmed you will undoubtedly play a leading role in implementing the president-elect's infrastructure plan. it's noteworthy to me that you have previously been critical of buy america rules. in 2009 you wrote an op-ed describing buy america as big a moat around america policy. this is in the heritage foundation op-ed. and to further quote you, you said buy america squanders america's credibility on international trade. i want to tease out how this
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conflict might be resolved. my question is if confirmed as secretary of transportation will you stand with the president-elect and support buy america? with th >> the president has made very clear his position on this, and it is his policy. and, of course, all cabinet members will follow his policies. >> okay. well, that's a welcomed change and welcome news to me from your past writing on this topic. and i look forward to working tc with you on buy america language as we move forward. i do want to note that buy america provisions have been written into the authorizing language of several department of transportation grant of programs. every single statute, however, allows the secretary of
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transportation wide latitude to waive the buy americantransp requirement if quote it would be inconsistent with the public interest. and given your past use on buy america restrictions, i guess i would like to more about how yo would intend to use that authority to waive by american restrictions. how you would evaluate what is in the public interest, andate w under what, my specific question is under what conditions would you see granting these waivers, or will you grant them sparingly or frequently? >> i think it is premature at this point for me to comment on any of this until i get fully briefed. i have mentioned that buyhis unt america is the president of priority. when you drill down to some of the details that you talked
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about, thank you so much for bringing to my attention, i am not fully cognizant about that. io if confirmed i look forwardrd to getting briefed on all those issues. >> and i look forward to working with you and that -- >> yes, of course. >> -- in that invitational. the president-elect pledged to rebuild our nation's crumbling infrastructure with $1 trillion investment in transportation, telecommuters is, clean water im and other pressing needs and a welcomed that discussion, especially if it includes real investment and not just tax credits. when we met last week i mentioned my support for reliable broadband infrastructure to ensure access to quality and affordable internet in rural communities. and we've many of those in wisconsin. additionally, it's well documented that water infrastructure across the country is in need of repair and upgrade. not only to avoid the failure
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and tragedy we experienced in flint, michigan, but to also meet the growing need for delivering clean water tomi families and businesses. we talked about the water council located in milwaukee, wisconsin. it is working to find solutions to the nations most difficultor and pressing water problems. i have introduced reforms that encourage the development and deployment of innovative water technology.reforms th and i believe these reforms have a place in any bold infrastructure investment. so my colleagues and i are eager to learn more about the scope of the infrastructure package that you will help shape, but my final question if confirmed, will you work with me on infrastructure package that includes real funding to address inth the infrastructuree challenges and support innovation exemplified by what
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is occurring in my home state of wisconsin? >> i will be more than glad to. >> thank you, senator baldwin. senator duckworth has occurred so you are up next followed by senator capito. >> thank you, mr. chairman.t let me say please and to join you on this committee. i am looking for to working wity you on infrastructure and other issues that are critical to the midwest and to illinois in particular. secretary chao, first let me thank you for the time you took with me in my office earlier this week. your commitment to maintaining an open line of communicatio with me is matched by mye commitment to be helpful to you where our interests and those of my state are aligned. the have for you has to do with this new rule from the department of transportation on the metropolitan planning organization consolidation rule. as we discussed in my office i'm deeply concerned that this recent dot rule, in fact it wast passed december 20 at a time
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when you are sort of pushed the rules that are problematic, and may have some opposition but it was pushed through and it threatens to disrupt important transportation projects in illinois and throughout all ofus the midwest. i appreciate the intended initiative may been to encourage better results for regional cooperation but, in fact, impact of the new mandate will have unintended consequences for some localities and will be absolutely disastrous for illinois, in particular the chicagoland greater metropolitan area. if it doesn't work in illinois and it's hard to see how it could work for any other metropolitan area in the midwest and run the country. and essentially the consolidation would require for example, the chicago metropolitan agency for planning to merge with a similar agency in wisconsin, indiana, and would require the governors, that any federal transportation funding e in chicago be approved by the governors of indiana and wisconsin. the application would slow down
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the delivery of important transportation projects nationwide and in chicagoland give other states huge leverage over decisions that are best made by the local community. this is true for decisions that are made in wisconsin or indiana or our neighboring states. if confirmed will you work with me to either reverse this rule or two at the very least make sure that it works for everyone, including illinois, and other metropolitan areas, especially those near state borders? >> thank you so much for that meeting in your office, and thank you for bringing this to my attention. so as i mentioned, if confirmed, i will be very eager to look me into this particular issue because the way you have characterized it. i need to understand morse i look forward to getting more briefs and i look forward to working with you on as we go forward.ok >> thank you, thank you. the department of transportation
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administers an important small business satisfied program for minority and women owned disadvantaged business enterprises, commonly known as dde. this program serves as a guide for state department of transportation, small business programs and, in fact, many of our states department of transportation align directly with whatever the federal dot policies are. many businesses are concerned about the future of the disadvantaged business enterprise program, and as we are looking to put significant investment in the nations infrastructure, i am concerned that women owned business disadvantage business enterprises may not have as good an opportunity to bid on these contracts to bring those jobs into the local economy, to bring those jobs into the local enterprises and local entrepreneurs, local women-owned businesses if the dde program is not emphasized.
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will you commit to working with me to reassure illinois small businesses that dot will preserve the dde program and ensure them if the president-elect follows through on the promise to invest trillions a new public infrastructure projects, small businesses such as women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses will be included in the initiative? >> i've always been a tremendous support of small businesses. i've been a supporter of communities of color, of women. when i was secretary of labor i was the only federal cabinet secretary to have gender parity in executive leadership at the department of labor works of these are issues that i'vear worked on all my career and i will continue to work on them with you. >> thank you. that is very important to me. these entrepreneurs are especially vital in areas such as rural illinois. because they do hire local people to work on the contracts they are local businesses. they are incredibly important for areas, economically depressed areas such as the
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southside of chicago, east st. louis so i look forward to working with you on that. i would like to close by saying i share many of my colleagues concerns about drones. i in fact have flown not too far from here and was flying at 250y controlled vehicle flew off and those of my aircraft and miss my propeller by about two feet. let me just say, it scared the living heck out of me, and it should not have been there, so i will be monitoring the drone rules and programs very closely. thank you for being here and i look forward to working with y you. >> thank you, senator duckworth. senator capito. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank you for allowing me to join the committee and what effect the ranking them as well. i look forward to serving on this committee. i am very pleased to be here to see my friend, secretary chao. i
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my husband charlie singes best and congratulations as well, particularly because of your past service but also being from a neighboring state. it's nice to see a neighboring kentucky in here today, and thank you for your visit to my office last week. we recalled in a visit when you're secretary of labor you came and visited me and senator byrd in west virginia, and so i would extend another invitation to you to visit the great state of west virginia to talk about transportation issues. >> thank you. look forward to it. >> great. it's hard to be original in question after many folks before howard as some most important questions that i had before me. i think you and i talked about the significance and the chairman mentioned this as well in a statement akin to the needs of rural america in terms of transportation needs. they are different than in urban in urban america whenever senator cantwell mention all the travails of congestion, it kind went to my mind a little congestion might be good for a step like west virginia because it does indicate economic
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development and vibrancy. that's what we want. the financing part of an infrastructure package that the president-elect will be talking about has been mentioned many times in terms of including private investment, private dollars. as a person represents almost all rural states like west virginia, i'm concerned about how are they going to be able to incense the private dollars to go to the less populated less pi economic areas of our country because the investments are just as important i would get any thoughts on that? >> rural america needs to be more connected and also in different ways. and so as you look at the national infrastructure proposal i think one of the great at challenges are the p fours and how are they going to pay for all these great ideas which are so necessary to keep our country, maintain the competitiveness of our country -- pay force. it's a huge issue that demands the best thinking of all of us. so that's why we need to work
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together executive branch needs work very closely with the congress especially on how to pay for all these projects. i might also add, it's not only the pay fors that are important as well but also the number of projects. so how do we find projects that can be shortened in duration that can be funded as well. that should be part of thecan be equation, too. so thank you for asking spirit we have used successfully in west virginia public-private partnerships to complete a project like u.s. route 35. where working on the expressway and quarter age which comes.s directly from washington, d.c. i know many people live in and around washington, d.c. area that are driven on our roads in west virginia wonder how we could possibly need one more road because they're all in senator robert byrd highway r interstate got we select great needed. we do know i think at the state
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level but it's challenging for states because a lot of kids are having trouble beating their match, much less figure out how to cobble together a public-private partnership.e so i look forward to working with you and the department toch try to find those answers. i'm going to shift to high-speed internet. senator klobuchar and i and senator gardner have worked on the bill, did once, and this would mean that if you are digging and creating a new highway, you are running the high-speed at the same time. i would encourage you to look at bill to see what you could help us with that, and present the concept of not only speed, but also being able to pinpoint certain areas that need that critical infrastructure as wellb because it's just as important. >> i look forward to working with you on that. >> one less thing i would like to talk about, something worked on windows on the house transportation committee and i worked within senator udall.
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he is still a senator and i was a congresswoman at the time, the concern of the 10,000 lives were lost through impaired drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs. we were able in the fast act to get the driver alcohol detection system for safety to try to get some innovation to try to work on prevention of, to prevent a massive loss of life that we have the people get behind the wheel when they shouldn't. so i would encourage you and your department to keep moving forward on the research and development industry. i think of lots to be done and there are a lot of good ideasou out there and i would just like your commitment. i'm sure you would be committed to that as well spirit we certainly will do that. >> thank you so much. i look forward to voting in the affirmative for your confirmation. thank you. >> thank you, senator capito. >> thank you, chairman thune and ranking member nelson. i am pleased to be joining on this committee, because the
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committees work is of course so focused on expanding economic opportunity and supporting focus innovative businesses and keeping our economy moving forward. secretary chao, it is great toat be with you today. my husband tom so enjoyed your conversation during orientation and since his best wishes as well. >> thank you. >> and major focus of the work we've all been talking about this morning as we talk abouts expanding jobs come expand economic growth and creating jobs is obviously around making sure our highways and roads and bridges are modern and safe.s ad and as we talk about really building that kind of foundation for 21st century economy, i know when we visited this week in my office you have been thinking a great deal about these issues. i look forward to working with you on them and i am very grateful not only for your pastg government service but also the
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way that will inform your work going forward. i just think it's a terrific resume. >> thank you. >> there are a couple of programs that it really, deity programs that have really helped new hampshire over the last few years and i just wanted to touch on them briefly. one of the things we talk about at our meeting the other day was the importance of tiger grants and to the loans pick you will recall that it was a tiger grans that really support our capacity to refurbish our memorial bridge, a drawbridge over new hampshire's port and yes, you have to does have a port. and so those competitive tiger grants have helped new hampshire in a number of other ways as well because it really help fund projects that are not suited for the more rod categories of funding grants. and then the tifia loan project is really critical to our completion, our plans to
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complete interstate i 93 in new hampshire, both with lower interest rates and deferred payment schedules.est and as buddha think really critical to a number of other rural areas for transportation projects. part of my question to you is just, are easily with the tiger and tifia programs and give as commitment to continue to progort them? >> from all of my meetings with members of congress there seems? to be one area of great agreement, that's the utility of the tiger grants. so i can't make a commitment at this point. i've been a very impressed with how many numbers like it, and i look forward to reading it andy seeing how much money can really be devoted to this, currently $250 million. it's a very it's a very modest sum in this budget, but i would like to get more briefed on this topic. look forward to working with you. >> and tifia, any thoughts? >> it also seems to be again and
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other important and source of funding. as we talked about infrastructure funding throughout our whole country, we need to be seeking more innovative and a more varied options of funding and tifia has certainly proven its worth it as to the specific amounts vatican will be a budgetary issue i would be looking at if i am confirmed. >> great.ci we also spoke on monday about the importance of commuter rail and a 21st century economy. something i learned a great deal about as governor as we tried to focus on bringing commuter rail from boston up to national and new hampshire, novel because it's a boom to businesses supported by all our major chambers of commerce, but also because we are learning that millennial workers really often don't want to own cars and really do like to see access to public transportation. own cars a project to bring commuter rail would not only require
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partnership between massachusetts and new hampshire, it also federal support to enhance that state and local effort. part are you committed to continuing to ensure federal support forse this type of commuter rail project? >> passenger rail is very popular with passengers. my father came down on amtrak, as did my sisters. .. my father came down on amtraks did my sisters. this is a wonderful opportunity and i look my thoughts on the driverless cars or automated automobiles. as we think about the technology i hope we think about making it accessible to people who for a
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variety of reasons can't drive and making sure that as new technology comes onboard its of pricing doesn't prohibit the people who might benefit it the most from using it. >> those are very good points and aappreciate your bringing them up. >> thank you.d >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you secretary chao. over here by the front row of the audience, i think -- welcome to the new members who sometimes we get confused with people here to watch the hearing or here to testify. so great to be with the newso members of the committee, and secretary chao, thank you for your willingness to continue to serve the nation. and a difficult job. you led to in the acronyms and where asia 70 and u.s. 3 58 are.rs so you get acrow him ins -- acs and everybody expects you to
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know where that congested intersection is that has to be addressed. colorado has seen some great economic opportunities over the past several years. in fact every time i landed a denver i do a crane count to see how many construction cranes in downtown. since 2010 can he have had 10% population growth. 5 machine thousand plus people moving into the state almost an entire new congressionalat district every decades seems to moving could into colorado. betn the growth has an great economic opportunity for colorado but lots offing which lengs for infrastructure. parts of i-25. still look like it did in the 1960 and 19 1970s. we passed the fast act and we
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are to consider population great when issuing grants how will you work if the states that have seen such high population great to meet their needs? >> the highway funding -- the federal highway is a block grant of federal dollars to the states, believing the states know best how to contribute distribute the money. so if congress wants to change the formula that's a discussion the administration would have with he congress and i would work with you on that. >> one of those areas where a number of states in the west will have the same kind of needs and considerations. nu the department of transportatioh is working with the snow, utilizings smart transportation. the corridors help mobility reduce congestion.
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this is helping us become the state for high-tech. the first fully autonomous delivery of a commercial shipment. it was colorado so a beer truck from fort collins to colorado springs, fully autonomous. first time in the country. a tremendous step but have to make sure there's more work done for safety, to make sure we have no onerous adoption of regulations. huh should the department of transportation work with states? >> always in collaboration. the federal government can't do thissen its own and most take into account the perspective of the stakeholders so we look forward to working with you. >> how do we make sure we have the regulatory certainy.. >> i thing regulations need to be based on sound science, real
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data, to ensure that the best regulations are put forward that will be effective and help to promote the ultimate goal. >> whether it's across -- roads, but across all of the agencies within the department of transportation, colorado has i felt a lot of impacts, ofly burdensome regulations.nc many of our communities on the front range that have grown around railroads have major concerns with train-horn noise within the federal railroad administration. horn certification process delays where an airplane from frontier airlines is treated like an airplane that a local cropin duster. hours of requirements. davis bacon requirements, the department of transportation, national environmental policy act, permitting requirements across the department of transportation. men regulations can slow down a project and stifle the and he
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can process and create uncertainty and increase the time to construct the project and increase the cost of the project. how can you help us, help congress, work to russ the regulatory burs facing our states. >> the usual regulations as an overall larger issue as well. some good things that the regulations in the past few years have added to dampening the rate of growth of our economy and that it has actually decreased the competitiveness and others who feel that these regulations were necessariful so it's a balancing act and it's building a consensus on both sides of the spectrum, political spectrum to come to regulations that are truly based on real data, on sound science, because
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that is the best way to promulgate regulations. having said that there have been overly burdensome regulationses that it need to be reviewed, and so that is part of an administration coming in, that all these regulations -- some of these regulations that you have mentioned will be reviewed as well. >> madam secretary, thank you. >> thank you, senator garden. senator lee has returned. over up next,. >> thank you very much, secretary chao, good have to you here and grateful to you for being willing to visit with me in my office. enjoyed our visit, and appreciate your willingness to be considered for this important position. as you know, a passion of mine involves federalism, the concept of constitutional system created by our founding fathers.
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works best when we reserve most powers in a way that will allow them to be exercised at the state and local level. we have accomplished great things national will you through the federal government. there have been some things we have created out of an understanding that in order to facilitate the free crans fer o goods, of services, of people, across interstate lines there are appropriate things for the federal government to be involved in. when the interstate highwayer system was created it was created with the understanding that from a national security don't order to facilitate interstate commerce that's was appropriate for the forward government. at the time it was created there was an understand that once the highway system was season established, it could in time be handed over to the states.
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of course that system is now largely complete, and we find ourselves sometimes oddly running short in terms of the revenue we receive from the federal gasoline tax there are proposals out there that have as an idea that have as their central idea, that perhaps we should reduce the federalhe gasoline tax and allow states to take over more authority in terms of revenue collection and spending the money, deciding where it ought to be spent. i hope that something you would be willing to consider or wouldn't dismiss if you'ret confirmed to this position. >> i'm open to all ideas. and i look forward to discussing your idea further with you. >> thank you. let's let's talk about super sonic air travel for a minute. when i was a kid there were a lot of assumptions people made that super sonic air travel would be mock common. that certainly by the time we
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were in 2017, things leaker -- like the concorde would be more common and let not withstandinge technological renovations,ul materials that are lighter weight that it's lou for the design, development, of commercial aircraft, that could travel at supersonic speeds we don't see that. some would argue has related to a bland on supersonic travel that was put in place in the 1970s as result of some studies. not withstanding the fact that supersonic aircraft don't produce any more noise at takeoff and landing than mid-air and the sonic boom that was thet concern underlying the supersonic travel policies in place since then 1970s, can be taken care of just through the assaultitude -- altitude at altt
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which the supershawnic aircraft traveles through the air. is this something you would be wailing to look at. >> i'm not very familiar with the topic you messengerside look forward to getting a briefing on it. >> senator peters discussed i the important balance between safety and innovation in the development of driverless cars. there are a lot of people who are very anxious to see how this is going to turn out. there a lot of people in the country who earned their living driving cars or trucks, and yet at the same time the are now predictions that many, if not moët, if not nearly all of these jobs, will eventually become obsolete. with driverless technologies. this, it seems to me, is going to create a real opportunity and a real demand for some type of regulation or at least some type of framework in which these
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manufacturers and designers of these vehicles can operate. can you tell us how you work with state and local governments as well as industry and tech you leaders to preserve the safety of our roads without slowing down this type of important renovation. >> you bring up a very, very important topic. the role of government is to foster the right environment for which job contraction -- creation can occur. i'm concern about the economy being able to create good-paying jobs so i am very much in support of the government, again, creating the environment through which job creation, economic growth, can occur. we obviously are also facing new
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technology, emerging technologies, which will bring about great dislocations, and so how we as a society deal with that and not, again, stifle, dampen, the innovation, the creativity that is so much a the hallmark is america and that's the balance.ha it's not an issue that can be decided by any one person, any one department, but requires the national attention, discussion, all of the pros and cons and concerns of the benefits and the concerns that these emerging new technologies bring. >> thank you. thank you, madam secretary. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator lee. >> thank you, mr. chair, and ranking member nelson. i'm very excited to be a new member on the committee and look forward with you hi and colleagues and all the questions have been asked but i do want to first of all thank you, thank
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you for taking the time to meet with me, secretary chao.be i look forward to futurehank conversations. one thing i haven't learned from my colleagues in listening to their questions we're going all be competing against one another for funds and you're the person we'll be going to for the important needs in our state. and one of the questions i have for you is involving an important project that is happening right now in nevada. think we talked about it. interstate 11. so, las vegas and phoenix are two of the largest cities in the country that are not connected by an interstate, and in the last congress, nevada delegation worked to include the i-11 future designations in the future transportation bill. how to route is no -- nevada and arizona looking to -- bring the roads up to interstate standards
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and one is to get a commitmentng from you for support on interstate 11 and role you see for federal assistance to to fund projects of regional needs such as interstate 11. >> we talked about this a great deal. it's obvious you care about this issue deeply. i'd like to get more briefed on it. said this would be a priority, that i would look at this, and i would do so. >> thank you. i appreciate that. one thing that has come to my attention after talking with not only the director of the department of transportation but our regional transportation directors and commissions in the state of nevada, particularly of oregon is light rail system. nevada, i've had the opportunity to work with the transportation commissions and right now they're looking to connect our airport to the strip in las
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vegas and that will move two million residents through the coroner provide -- the corridor and provide transportation for the visitors. this project will need federal dollars and in our meeting you said that the departmentee secretary has to make tough choices and there's never enough. how do you evaluate where the limited resources go and, two, it's dom my attention as well weep we are talking about evaluating and allocating the funding, it's based on formula that also includes population. but that formula includes a population based on the census in two do 2000, and nevada and las vegas is one of the highest growing communities. we think that's an outdated formula and we want to know how we address this issue. >> the highway formula forho grants is complicated and has
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gotten simpler but because of the short-term -- of the bills in the past, the formula has just repeated itself. so its win the purview of congress that if the formula were to be changed that congress would be able to change it. >> like my colleagues, let me just say, autonomous vehicles in nevada -- we like what i'm hearing from several of my kole legs. -- ol' colleagues. it's an important driver and governor sandoval announced dedicating resources from our state to a center for autonomous vaccines and our state is them first in the nation to dedicate resources for this kind of technological investment. if a heard your commitment to work on this new technology but i'd like your commitment to come to nevada, look at what is going
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on and talk to our governor and economic development so you can see. would you commit to coming to nevada and making a visit and looking at what is happening there? >> i would be delighted to come to nevada. >> thank you. one final thing, we didn't get a chance to talk about when wede meeting, disadvantaged enterprises are important. as former member of the department of transportation inn at the state of nevada this user smug our director continues to promote and i hope you understand that and look forward to working with you on those programs. >> senatordown -- senator young. >> thank you for your presence here today and willingness to serve. you have an extensive background in public policy and personnel management, and i think the experience within the transportation sector in particular, that will make you an effective secretary here. so, i appreciate that.
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my home state of indiana, which you no doubt or familiar with, seeing as we're neighbors, has adopted the the moniker crossroads of america, in the name stems from the fact that indiana is the intersection of four major interstate highways. three of indiana's seven priority infrastructure projects involved expanding those interstates and upgrading them, and so service transportation needs in my state and so many others are significant. i, too, would invite you to visit with your state officials, local officials, and familiarize yourself and the department more on those essential needs. i look forward, for one, to partnering with you and the entire department to ensure that we can identify bottle necks,
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reduce the regulatory burden which you have spoken to and make sure we stretch every dollar as far as we can to fund not just indiana's needs but the 21st century infrastructure plan bit the president-elect and the administration. as you prepare to assume these new responsibilities, i'd ask you to make sure that you partner and give great involvement to our state's governor and the governors of other states. really empower them to expand financing -- extend financing needs in particular. and so along those lines, i know that the transportation plan is still in development through tho administration, but would you kindly elaborate on how you plan to utilize new financing opportunities like public-private partnerships to help invest in 21st century
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infrastructure, including surface transportation. >> there are times when public-private partnerships have not been welcomed, and so at the very minimum we need to do away with some of these impediments, and private investment ise encouraged to enter when the see a bold vision, and this president has a bold vision. we'll be talking about it whenag the administration comes into being after january 20 and very excite fog work on a new infrastructure for america. >> so the signals we send through the bold vision and by presenting a bold plan with more specifics to be teased out later, you believe will facilitate more private actors wanting to come forward and other thing wes can do beyond putting a plan in congress to empower the department to facility that it the sometimes
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unwelcome public-private partnerships. >> public-private partnerships are embraced by some and not others. for them to be truly effective there are revenue streams that need to by assured and whether groups on either side of thehe political aisle would agree wite these revenue stream ising some we have to talk about. i look forward to working with toe congress on these issues.. >> with respect to the budget of the department of transportation, you have proven in your previous capacity, you know how to identify your inefficiencies. bottlenecks and bring private practices to the public sector, and now doubt be involved in this alaska it in dot and i suspect in short order. i would just request that your department report back to this committee within six months, 180 days, with opportunities to make
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dot more efficient and budget conscious. is that a commitment i can get here today? >> i can certainly give you a report in six months. >> thank you so much. yield back. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator young. senator booker, senate hiller, uhdal. >> thank you for your willingness to serve not once but twice in a presidential administration. have to say i have a great deal of respect for you, although i have some frustration now with much mitch mcconnell has never taken my atied tell me how to marry out of my league. i'm a jersey boy and we have serious infrastructure challenges. the replacement of the 170-year-old hudson river tunnel and the portal bridge is a crisis for the entire northeast corridor. more people use those tunnels and i think the entireri
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population of south dakota eave single day, and about -- that not a knock, chairman, at all. of course. but the reality is, we need to replace these tunnels, and the -- unfortunately the urgency is greater because of the recent super storm sandy. if these tunnels went down, they would cost about $100 million in lost productivity every day. given the importance of this w project for the nation's economy, this region of the country one of most productive regions on the planet earth. will you continue to honor the department's commitment to partner with new york and new jersey toed and edition thert completion of the gateway program. >> i have not had a specification conversation being that so i look forward getting briefed but i assume any project in new york and new jersey would be very important going into the future. >> i appreciate you saying that. i know the president-elect of
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the united states knows a little bit about commuting between new york and new jersey. although i think he might take a helicopter. the fast act made important chengs to the new starts, capital investment program, along with involvement nat i championed that really made it -- the risk program. that will help this kind of critical financing if want to see if that's something that you believe in as a way to fund the major infrastructure projects and is it something you thinkt that you can support going forward, given not just the needs of my region but a program that benefits all around our country? gee, gee need look at all the options. the tremendous resources required to build a first-class and maintain a first-class infrastructure will require that. >> i appreciate that and happy to hear the incoming administration has made clear they're putting together a
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triple dollar plan for a pry vote and plan to call for tax breaks to private investor who want to finance toll bridges brd toll road to generate their own streams. private tax breaks we ol' aide infrastructure projects that have their on revenue stream which would only by appliable to high-scale projects. we need to make direct investments in our infrastructure a nation to rebuild roads, brims, rail systems, ports that have ma america globally competitive. do you and president-elect trump support packages that include federal spending? >> i believe that's answer is, yes. >> great. greet. thank you. can i shift really quick to air traffic control staffing? this is a critical, safe efficient run of our air space
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weapon need to make sure we have capable, well-trained work force. this work force includes certified and experienced air traffic controllers, and right now unfortunately we face a crisis when its comes to staffing of our nation's air traffic controllers. the national air aero space system is at a 20-year low. how can we -- >> a former secretary love -- secretary of labor i'm concerned about the ability of a work force to prepare for a certain percentage of worked retiring and how to prepare for the future. so i was very concern about that and it's a whole plethora of strategies that can be deployed and i look forward to working with you on excusing the strategies and getting up toto date information from the department about their current
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plans. >> thank you. the last thing want to say is, priorities for mine is thech. nextgen in new york and new jersey. even president-elect trump has said the airways are like a third world country. you land newark and come in from dubai and qatar and you see these incredible airports, and you come china and cease incredible airports and we have become a third world country. i've had a lot of infrastructure about newark, busy airport and the challenges of delays. the technology would create efficiencies and improve air quality. can we specifically expect rapidly a -- technology to up grades that already on the way but needs a champion as a secretary to get this over the line so we can modernize our airport and catch up wives those global leaders that have
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surpassed us like the president-elect mentioned. >> absolutely. we need to have greater emphasis on improving the rate of modernization. questions that have taken place before you arrived about the air traffic control system, and the rate of change and improvement is certainly not what we would all like and needs to be improved. >> thank you very mitch. as a big fan of south dakota i'd like to apologize to chairman. >> thank you. only the united states senate would the senator from new jersey be considered a young single guy. but -- [laughter] >> senator heller. >> mr. chairman, thank you. to the ranking member, have to tell you, mr. chairman, i'm impressed with the size of your committee. let it he a lesson to all of us about being on time, as i look around here. needless to say, secretary cha ,
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welcome today. lynn and i have appreciated our friendships over the years, and we both congratulate you on your nomination. >> thank you. >> and in our meeting in my office, we talked about the functions of the federal government. one of the most important constitutional functions is the creation of infrastructure. obviously in order to conduct commerce, trade, and general transportation. it's very critical. one of the upsides of the state of nevada is to have my colleague and i on the same committee so we can ask you the same questions twice. but i do want to emphasize, what she emphasizees and that is that nevada is a microcosm of the challenges challenges and the opportunities before the department of transportation in the coming decade. nevada is one of the fastest agreeing growing states in the nation, as you're well aware of, adding nearly a million knew residents over the last 20 years.s.
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ad to that 43 million visitors and you can imagine the infrastructure and the growth strains we have in the state of nevada and the infrastructure system that we need for increased vehicular travel that has increased over the last decade by 150%. so i want to talk again about i-11, as senator mentioned and that is the fact that we have two cities that are 290 miles apart, and these are the two largest cities in the country today in the southwest that do not have a freeway between them. i was impressed with the chairman of this committee and his work on the fast act, and the improvements that will make over the next decade in the ability to move forward. the fact that it officially designates the freeway between phoenix and las vegas as officially designated future
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highway, and you may be aware of this but it's been decades since we have actually designated a future highway in the country and it's good to see the i-11 moving forward. i think nevada has moved ahead. we have a bypass, the first phase is known on the boulder city bypass and because of the work of nerd government, state government, and local government, we are able to complete this particular project on time and very quickly. so i guess the question is always the same. we need at the resources. and this is a great project and you have heard a lot of great projects today, and the issue is always going to be resources, and i guess the commitment we're asking from our delegation is that will you help news secure thing resources necessary in order to not only grow this designated freeway between phoenix and las vegas, but you
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can imagine the impact that it has on the region, the southwestern portion of the country,ing this the fastest growing for decades. guess that's a commitment we're trying to get between the two of us from you is that the help an. support from the department of transportation to see this come to fruition. >> a couple of points. one, this emphasizes again the need to find additional financing created in a way to fund many infrastructure projects. number two, i look forward to working with both senators from the great state of nevada on this issue and look forward to seeing both of you in nevada.it >> secretary, thank you. we needed to hear that.fo i want to expand on this i-11. not only is it between now phoenix and las vegas but it will continue to extend up into the northern portion of the state, and under the work of
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this chairman on the fast act,er we did authorize the extension of i-11 from las vegas to northern nevada in that bill. it's going to be a very complicated project. we're not talking just the 290 miles between phoenix and las vegas. but an additional 400 miles to get it to the northern end of the state. we're very vast out there in the west but it's going to be treacherous terrain, there's a lot of federal land in the state of nevada. we have a native american reservations. on and on and on how difficult this would be. i guess the question that i have for you is, is to ensure that as this project moves forward, is that we can streamline -- there were a lot of streamlining provisions within the fast act and your commitment to seeing this happen so we can get through the initial phases of the planning on that project,
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taking it from las vegas to the northern end of the statement can we get your commitment we can try to overcome the shackles that we find through -- through this difficult project as we move forward? >> i will work with you on this. >> i do appreciate that. what i'm trying to hope is that this idea, the project, moving forward, would actually be a model for the rest of the nation. >> i understand. thank you. >> mr. chairman, thick my time has run out. >> thank you. >> secretary, welcome, thank you for being here. >> senator udall and then am to the end. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i've enjoyed being a very active member on this committee, and very much appreciate yours and senator nelson's bipartisan porch to the work.
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secretary chao, it's wonderful to see you come back and do this a second time. want to thank you for your service to the country and i very much enjoyed our visit any office on a variety of issues and it's always good to see your family here. those young people right behind you.ou they have real focus. you have been -- taught them on quite a lot there and i know you always talk fondly about your dad. so it's great to see him here, too. first i'd like to talk a little bit about drunk driving. in your written testimony you note that safety will continue to be dots primary objective. in 2015 drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people. a third of all trafficit fatalities and these are tragic deaths that are preventible and
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i now you have worked on this. k we know we can reduce the tragickic toll from drunk driving, highs is viability. ignition interlocks, public safety campaigns save lives but eye excited by invades answer i r & d effort to find technologic solutions to end drunk driving. this is called the driver alcohol detection system forth safety, public-private partnership makes progress towards the goal. let me ask you a couple of questions on this drink driving issues. well drunk driving be a priority issue for you as d.o.t. secretary? >> yes. >> will you support the national highway transportation safety operation, their efforts to combat drunk driving such as drive zone or get pulled over? it's a public awareness
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campaign? >> i've worked with tell in the past and look forward to working with them in the future and look forward getting updated on thise latest initiative. you've have done great work. >> i appreciate your responses. everybody has talked here, as has been messenger several times and don't would to plow new ground on rural infrastructure. one part not -- been mentiones is our native american communities where many of these indian pueblos, tribes in very rural areas, sometimes unemployment 40% and 50%. one way to grow jobs is to havey good infrastructure, so i hope that you'll work with me and the rural areas and in native american communities to make sure that we get the infrastructure that they deserve and that they can grow their
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communities. i know senator thune, our chairman, has a lot of tribes in the same situation, too. so thank you for that. let me talk a little bit aboutut greenhouse gas emissions. the d.o.t.'s transportation and climate change clearinghouse states that -- this is a quote on -- within your department -- within the united states, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after electricity generation. with scientific recognition that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to a long-term warming trend of the earth. there is an increasing realization that transportation is a significant contributor off ghgs, plays an important role in n claim changes policy and program decisions. that's your department's statement. excuse me. will a department of
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transportation under your leadership work to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change issues? >> i'm not very familiar with what the department is doing right now, so i would want to be briefed and understand what they are doing on this and i look forward to working with you on it.ep >> and the related issue has to do with vehicle emissions, and i hope that you'll work with me to see that we improve the vehicle fuel economy rather than rolling back the standards and once again, very much appreciate your effort here today. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you senator. senator markey up next and then senator cruz. >> thank you. well, madam secretary, and you have beautiful family behind you. your father right over there. >> thank you. >> a wonderful day. let me go first to this
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revolution that is taking place in the automotive sector where t automobiles are very rapidly turning into computers on wheels and increasingly it's possible to be able to hack into these vehicles as they move down the streets and all of these vehicles have information about us which streets we went down, when we went there, and potentially they ares compromisable in terms of someone with a computer even taking control over that vehicle. could you take a -- talk a little bit about how you view that issue and what role you - think that the congress and -- in ensuring that drivers are protected against the compromise of their information?
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>> -- [inaudible] -- is unsurpassed in the world, and so we have a responsibility to ensure that the creativity and that innovation remains. obviously with these new emerging technologies, there has now surfaced a number of keyousy issues, privacy among them, that are very worrisome to a whole host of people. safety is another. so, as these emerging technologies are coming up, they're faced with state-by-state regulations which also present a new challenge as well. yet there are many benefits. for senior citizens who may mott want to drive, autonomous vehicles are way to give them back their freedom. so there are pros and cons, and we need to have a national dialogue and the regulations at
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the federal level are their infancy and we need to work with members of the congress and all of you on this committee to make sure we're not dampening the suiter of creativity and assuaging the deep, seated concerns many of our public onnd some of the issues that these new emerging technologies bring. >> thank you. and let me follow up on a question which senator udall asked on the greenhouse gass issue which is related to fuel economy standards for the vehicles which we drive. i'm the author in 2007 of the law which required imkatrina in few economy standards. and that calls for 54 .5 miles
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per gal which is reinvenning the automotive sector. that's going to be reviewed. can you talk a little bit about how you view that issue and whether or not the u.s. should stay on a path to meet those goals? because it requires less gasoline for people to buy, reduces greenhouse gasses. >> this issue is an important one for the department and before i comment, i'd like to do so responsibly and so i'd like to get in briefing, up to date briefings on what is happening within the department. i look -- again, look forward to soliciting your points of view and work with you as we go forward. >> thank you.ai on the issue of drones, there are going to be millions of drones in the sky but commercial companies can actually collect data about individual families all across the country as these drones just hovering over people's backyards.
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i was actually successful in having an amendment passed oust this committee last year, got knocked out in the conference committee, but it just goes to the issue of the privacy of americans in the information being gathered about them by commercial companies. and creating a privacy standard for those families. can you talk about that and what role you believe the department of transportation and this scooping be playing in ensuring that the eyes in the sky don't compromise the privacy of families across the country. >> we talk bit this at length during our visit in your offers as well. and so on this issue, as i mentioned in many others, with emerging technologies, we all need to talk and understand the benefits, the concerns that are expressed by various stakeholders and look forward to
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working with the committee and the congress on all the issues. >> die -- time for one more question? >> your time is but if you want a hedge -- ipretor that. >> senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman, madam secretary, congratulations on the nomination. congratulations to your family who is here, especially your father, who i know is very, very proud of you and together y'alli represent the quintessential american success story as immigrants to achieve the american dream. i want to start with the topic we visited about yesterday which is the impediment right now thaa overregulation serves as to building rooteds, building bridges, building infrastructure, and what we should do to reduce this regular racings so that weeing -- regulations so we can more quickly rebuild the infrastructure in our country.
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i just ask your views on how overregulation shows down transportation projects. >> there's a whole list of projects that are outstanding in various departments throughout the department of transportation, and they have been on the books so to speak, for quite a while. one of the major complaints that many private investors voice is how long it takes for projects to be ready for bidding. so the issue is not only how much to fund our infrastructure projects, but also how to increase the pipeline of available projects that would be available for all groups, private sector included, to be able to participate and fund. >> well, terrific, madam secretary.ne i look forward to this committee working closely with you streamline the process so we can have more and more shovel-ready projects that are actually creating jobs and rebuilding our
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infrastructure. i want to turn to another area where regulation can potentially slow things down and that's commercial space. when you last worked at the department as deputy secretary, the offers overcomer shat pace transportation was located inside the office of the secretary. today that office is a fewou layers down inside the faa, which is allowing issues of importance to the commercial space launch industry to be lost within the bureaucracy. in fact it's illustrated by the fact that secretary fox's exit memo doesn't even mention commercial space. within the commercial space often act, which i authored and congress passed and was signed into law, directs the department to locket moving the office of commercial space transportation back under the secretary. would you be supportive of that
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move and increased focus on creating an environment where commercial space can thrive. >> thank you for being this to my attention. wait not aware of this issue and look forward to getting briefed on the current status of the issue. >> very good. i look forward to working with you on it. i want to turn to another issue that we discussed yesterday, which is airlines, and in particular the fact that our air traffic control system is right now outmoded with 1950s style radar, win he have gps technology and far better technology to ensure airline safety and efficiency which would benefit everyone and i'd like to hear you views whether you share my concerns for the need to modernize and upgrade our air traffic control system. >> the professional career staff at the department of transportation are terrific. they do a great job. the task ahead of them is a huge one.
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nextgen we need to do more, better, faster, and that's ak tall order for anyone. so, if confirmed, this will be a top priority of mind, to examine the nextgen thousand improve and how do we keep -- how do we maintain our aviation system to be the best, safest, most efficient in the world. >> terrific. like those adjectives. more, better and faster imlook forward to our working with you to accomplish those in upgrading our air traffic control system. the final question i want to focus on is transportation funds, and historically texas has received less from the federal highway trust fund than the state has contributed in gas tax receipts, and a major reason for that inequity is that the fact act didn't update apportionment formulas so texas is underrepresented.
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will you commit to this committee to looking at this issue and examining it carefully un in particular examining update thing apportionment formula so they accurately reflectti population and using current census dated and not outmoded data. >> this has been brought up self times during the hearing and i will do that. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator cruz.. senator nelson, anything else from you? >> senator cruz, before you leave, i just want to say on matters of the commercial office, the first i had the pleasure of authoring the first commercial pace transportation bill back in 1986. when you and i were young pups.t
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and -- easy. madam secretary, will you commit to go to the state of every senator that is a member of this committee? [laughter] >> i will do so.nator that is >> i want to acknowledge the dedication of the coggan families and the contributions to aviation safety, which has resulted from their hard work since that tragic flight 3407, claimed the lives lives of theid ones in 2009, representatives of the families are here with us today, and we welcome them and we commend them for their continuing efforts. just one cleanup question, mr. chairman. many of our members have raised the importance of direct federal
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funding to support infrastructure. federal funding is critical for projectness our states and you have heard a number of the senators from various states,tsr specifically ehim in rate their projects, infrastructure sp projects. here's a commit you county commit to. >> will you commit to providing details of your plan for infrastructure funding, particularly federal funding, and too do that within a short period of time, say 30 days. >> i will certainly try to give the committee a continuing report on what the infrastructure propose would be -- proposalil be.
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i could try for 30 days but i can't promise 30 days. >> when you formulate it, will you commit to share it with this committee? >> i can assure this committee that there will be continual and constant dialogue on what the proposal will be for the very simple reason we cannot do this alone, and any infrastructure proposal would require the participation and the discussion of the united states congress.hs >> okay. in order to get these infrastructure projects done with federal funding, we need to know what the administration is proposing. these >> absolutely.je >> now, except for you being shackled by the white house, that you can't release any of the proposed proposals for federal funding, i would assume
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you can commit to share that information with us. >> i will certainly be in discussion with the congress and not only myself but other members involved in the infrastructure projects, the w white house, on all of this. it would be a heavy lift and it will require the administration to work with the congress on making all of this a reality.e so currently the administration -- i shouldn't currently because the administration nothings in the office yet -- when the administration gets into office these issues will be discussed. there's a national infrastructure task force and when it gets underway, the pay force and other acts aspects of the project will be tackled at that time and i look forward to that. >> okay. the only way we're going to get an infrastructure bill done is to have it none a bipartisan way. >> totally agree.
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>> the chairman and i are an example of that bipartisan cooperation. and we are going to need to know the information of what the administration that you will be representing them on transportation will in fact commit to what we need is the information in the committee so he can work together. >> i totally agree with you on that. and at the appropriate time, i'm not saying at any later time, that as the infrastructure proposal is being put together we'll certainly be in great discussion with the congress because opposite again we cannot do it on our own. we need to have the input and the agreement of the congress as we go forward. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator nelson. i just have one quick cleanup thing and, secretary chao, you mentioned in response to my
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question on the fast act earlier, the creation of a task force. and i'm interested in yourur commitment to brief me and myth staff about the task force and would also ask that a rule perspective be included on that. some of the things that we're hearing about projects to date, don't reflect that point of view. >> we will certainly do so. i might put that in a more positive spin in that the infrastructure proposal is very exciting and this is an opportunity for bipartisan agreement, for us to all work together to build a better america, so that how i view it. not as a -- as something very positive.ag that actually gives our country on a bipartisan basis the opportunity to work together. >> soundses good to us. we do the bipartisan thing
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pretty well. the urban rural thing is my version of bipartisanship. want to make sure we have rural representation in those conversations. >> yes, of course. >> final question, this willak probably be the haddest hard adest one for you, louisville or kentucky.. >> i'm taking a pass on that one. >> going to take that one for the record. i appreciate everybody's participation today and in given our hope to confirm secretary chao oning new racing day -- inauguration day. the hearing record will remain even until tomorrow and during that time ask senators to commit any records for the record and would request submission of written answers to the committee as soon as possible. a secretary chao, thank you forre your patience. a very long day for you and your response to our questions, andyo your willingness to serve our country. we look forward working with you
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in the busy days and week months ahead. >> thank you. >> the hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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minister al sharpton is leading a march and rally in washington, dc on saturday in honor of martin luther king, focusing on voting rights, christian justice, health care, and economic justice. we'll have live coverage, saturday at noon eastern.
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>> trump has tran ford in the republican party and con conservative mom that values the worker. >> then sean spicer on his new role as incoming white house communications director and press secretary. >> whether it's ari fleisher, dana perino, robert gibs, jay carny, everyone has offer third advice and counsel and it's humbling to realize you're in a club of 30.
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>> i think the future august to be will be rails recognizing the success of the administration, embraing as a model and defending it the way we do with lincoln and roosevelt, and obama while not on no scale is the klosees thing we have gotten in american history to that kind of successful president, and should be defend evidence by americans
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from the center to the left. >> president obama gave a farewell address this week in chicago. he touch on race relations, partisan divisions and unity. at his presidency ends he urges all americans to have hope and push for change where change is needed. this is about an hour. [applause]

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